A band with the word “bird” in its name has a song with the word “flying” in its title. So consistent it’s kitschy? Thankfully, not quite. Danish duo BlackieBlueBird‘s “Flying Too Close to the Ground” is as delicate as is its titular image, and its fragility is vital to its deeply human profundity.
The first sounds on “Flying” are heavy human breaths. From there, the song progresses to a gentle and dour arrangement of acoustic guitar chords, lightly reverbed electric guitar notes, and vocalist Heidi Lindahl’s majestic but gloomy singing. Instrumentally, not much changes thereafter.
It doesn’t need to. “Flying” is barren and desolate, a piece of art that draws its brooding undercurrents from vastness and open space. The music is about as linear and lightweight as a properly sharpened pencil, but it never tires.
Lindahl’s lyricism does plenty of heavy lifting as well. In contrast to the song’s stark arrangement, her poetry is full of melodramatic images and crushing contrasts. She makes it clear that, in the emotional state that resulted in “Flying,” her heartbreak was so thorough that nothing else mattered at all.
“Loneliness is real/your love is not,” she begins, offering a quick and striking contrast that paves the way well and early for a poem full of desolation and melancholy. “I was looking at the stars/and not your heart,” she continues, as though the expanse of the universe holds as much weight to her as her lover’s emotions. “Should I laugh, or should I cry?” she later intones before offering another intentionally inflated comparison: she’s a fallen angel whose trajectory has come far too close to the earth’s surface.
Songs this rife with longing and isolation abound on Ghost River, BlackieBlueBird’s recently released debut album. A press release about the album describes it as existing in a “drumless, cinematic atmosphere filled with romantic soundscapes of yearning desire and melodic choruses that caress the ear in a liberating and cathartic way.” In reckoning with the fallout of her failed romance, Lindahl is finally free.